Why Metal and Rock Music is essential for (MY) Mental Health
Why Metal and Rock Music is essential for (MY) Mental Health
This was a realization of how I am now VS how I was a child and this all just spilled from my finger tips.
When I was little, I loved Hannah Montana. I feel like that’s a good start to describe of what I listened to as a kid. The pop classics. Britney, Bratz Rock Angels were my FAVORITE,
and I also very much loved Nsync. However, as I grew a bit, the world began to confuse me. The world wasn’t happy as I thought it was. I believed as a child that I could single-handedly change the world by being nice to people. I thought that everyone WAS nice. I personally believed everyone was a friend to one another. That we all lived in this happy harmony and we all loved what we did for jobs, and just existing in general.
I want to say that when I was in sixth grade, I began to realize none of that was true. I had been living a life full of sheltered ignorance. My family thought I was happy-go-lucky all the time. The world thought that I was a child with some form of retardation because I was so smiley all the time. I’m being serious. People have admitted to it. The cold hard truth is, I was always insecure, but I had no reason to be mean to anyone. I also have a hyperactivity disorder. If there’s a lot of energy in a room, I get very anxious and it comes off as excitement.
Within the year of 2007, I finally had heard the first time of someone sharing their opinions of me. “Everyone thinks you’re weird.” Or “They don’t like you because you’re a show-off.” Then, as I began to realize my rejection toward my peers, I began to question who I was as a person. I ignored it a bit for a year, but I had a secret love obsession with the bands
Trapt, Papa Roach and Hoobastank. I was this unique flower who was obsessed with Dirtbiking MORE than squirrels. Can you imagine?
Then as Trapt and Hoobastank began to fade in the music scene, My Chemical Romance blew up overnight into my innocent world. I will note this to you. I was still pretty innocent. When I listen to MCR now, I’m a little shocked about the drugs and many other sins they mention. I basically had no idea what was being said in the rock music. I still love it and would not take my experience back for the world, though. I personally saw MCR’s music as this epic roller coaster adventure of life. Their music is painted in my head as a cartoon. Every song has a heart-wrenching story of horror and deep romantic intent. The lyrics Gerard sings is so descriptive of places, people and emotions.
As my interest with MCR grew, I thought that they were Super Heroes! Their creative flow grew a clothing style movement, as with many other bands. With their cool dramatic costumes, I grew so excited for Halloween.
Then, came my first love. I was thirteen. Texting was popular at that age in my generation. Just two years sooner and no one texted. It was surely a middle school thing.
I was very enthralled. His name was Jerry. As an innocent girl I was happy that someone showed interest in me. It was very fascinating to me that someone outside of my social circle wanted me into their lives. It was a completely new concept to me. As the eighth grade school year was ready to begin, I finally was able to create a new image for myself. I bought a super cool sweatshirt with skulls on it. A bunch of Invader zim shirts, skinny jeans, studded belts and cupcakes.
That entire school year was very difficult for me on an emotional level as I experienced my first ever breakup and I was popular. Popular in terms of rejection and connection, but it was an incredible experience for me in building self-confidence and taking a leap of faith into myself. I was bullied a lot and strangers from school would text me to tell me to kill myself (I never considered it). No joke.
As I fell more into a crush with my first love, Jerry, I’d even more fall in love with rock music. The Used, Aiden, Norma Jean (It’s a rock band, not Marilyn Monroe) to name a few. It was dark. It was sad. It was anxious. The music made me face every human emotion possible inside of me. I could feel the guitar with every strum.
I’d close my eyes and see a whole new world in my head. It began to stimulate my brain and educate me. It helped me daydream. It made me face myself. The music had me face my reality.
So the reason I’m not, ”How I used to be,” is because I lost a part of innocence to myself. But I gained emotional intelligence.
As the years passed, my musical exploration broadened. I fell in a deep trance for Industrial music for the majority of my High School days and began to explore cyberpunk possibilities. A concept that was not popular ten years ago, but slowly gaining favor as videogames explore the idea more. ToxicXNeuromance was my label for my designs. Neuromance was the book that inspired cyberpunk ideologies! Those were my darkest, most awakening days.
I hungered more musical education and fell into the 90’s rock scene when High School ended. As that began to bore me, I fell in love with Lana Del Rey. My muse for becoming feminine and powerful. It was a part of me I needed in order to feel attractive as an adult. After overplaying ratchet Limp Bizkit music and Lana for 3 years back and forth, I began to explore KPOP. I surely overdid my BTS obsession in 2015 through 2018.
I can honestly say that the only part of myself I could feel, was my fashionable side. Even though I felt comfortable in my clothing and the way I looked… deep down inside me it felt like something was missing. I was always antsy. Not ever content.
In the summer of 2018, I was packing my room up because I was leaving my hometown for three months out on an adventure of the United States. On the drive to Los Angeles I had blasted beats off my High School iPod that I loved. I passively listened and enjoyed. Remembering the songs and what they meant to me. I left my vehicle in LA and flew to Washington D.C. in June after E3. I landed into LA from Atlanta in mid-August. I put my iPod on for the nine-hour drive and again, passively enjoyed the beats, sounds and expressions. Not really realizing how much this music connects with me.
Then, an entire year later a female friend invited me to go to the Ghost concert with her. I gladly accepted and saw Nothing More perform as the opener.
The logo looked familiar, but I was puzzled. I knew a few songs without even knowing. Their concert set was finished and I was content with stimulation. However, still emotionally passive. Detached. Ghost began. I also passively enjoyed their music, but danced the night away.
A few days later I attended Breaking Benjamin and Chevelle with Three Days Grace. I don’t care for Three Days Grace, but I went crazy over Chevelle. Pete is a beautiful singer. Breaking Benjamin is so down-to-earth and grateful. They are the epitome of a dream.
As I took the 9-hour drive back home (we got stuck in terrible traffic in Northern California) I was relying on my iPod again for music. Passively singing along to the tunes, beginning to miss the adventures these old rock bands took me on.
My iPod has not been updated after 2012 so I began to miss listening to Nothing More. The next morning my Amazon Alexa alarm woke me up with Nothing More and I began to feel overwhelmed and very emotional. I felt sad. I felt angry at the world. I felt tired. I felt powerful. Then I shrugged the emotions off like it was nothing and headed to work. After work, I decided that I needed to look up the lyrics to their songs so I could learn them. I sometimes like to passively mumble music… and I think most of us humans do that if a song is catchy.
So here I am. Sobbing at my computer screen because I realized my missing link. I need metal music.
The song, “Jenny,” reflected my own depression. The emotions I have been fighting for a whole year, scared of falling back into my deep thoughts of suicide. I’ve gone to therapy. I’ve surrounded myself with friends. I’ve picked up hobbies. However, the deep rejection of others still destroys me for some reason.
“Will this phase ever end?” Jonny Hawkins asked me as I sang aloud.
“A thousand arms to hold you, but you won’t reach for any hands. ‘Cause I don’t feel I’m getting through to you… I’ll be here with you through it all.”
That’s when I realized. This depression thing. It’s a game. I even began to feel like myself again. The me I like very much. “You won’t face the music,” became a literal thing for me for the last few years. I know that for most people, depression is chronic. But for me, its beginning to look like it’s ME. Me choosing to not want to be happy. Me hiding from lyrics of songs that used to eat away at my soul, making me feel understood. My negative polarity is making me drown myself of air. I have been sad in the past, but depression never really became a thing for me as a child or early adult. Deep down, though, my own being is choosing depression as an excuse. A reason to not live to my full potential. When I watched Pokemon today I realized that Ash Ketchum doesn’t fear anything as a 10 year old. Why can’t I be like that?
I can. But I’ve been stuck in this filthy pond of wanting people to feel bad for me. I wanted the pond to solve my problems. I wanted the pond to move me out of my parent’s home and somehow financially stabilize me. In all harsh honesty, that’s pitiful of me. A millennial state of mind.
Don’t get me wrong. I definitely was depressed for a month or two last year. I didn’t eat for two weeks. I wouldn’t leave my room. I slept nonstop. I always had a headache from dehydration and sobbing. I even had a panic attack in January that had me convince myself that the world didn’t need me. It wasn’t true. The feeling I had was the world didn’t need that VERSION of me. The world needs me as that blind innocent little girl, in the form as the emotional intelligent piece.
People will reject me. A lot of people don’t believe in me the way people think Ash Ketchum is just a silly child. Ash pushes through it because he pays no mind to them, and even laughs it off. Metal music is like that. People reject it. They find the vulgarity emotional screams as scary. It looks scary. It can symbolize drugs, death and pain.
What I’m beginning to think is that Metal disguises itself as this ugly flower that will only bloom if you water it. If you water this flower, it can open up and you will find gold. You’ll see colors that the majority of society can not see because they turn a blind eye. That is a treasure in itself. These flowers create the air we breathe. These flowers remind us that we are human and are normal to feel pain, excitement and vulnerability.
I just want to take this last paragraph and thank those who saw my flower as a pretty violet and watered it through the last year. This sudden realization may as well begin a massive turn point inside me. Remember that you are a precious flower. Those who choose to water you, love you. Don’t neglect that and remain to be vulnerable when you need help or love.